Don’t Give Up

One of the sadder parts of my job this time of year is the increase in suicides. People get extra lonely and/or their demons ramp up because of the apparent isolation of the holiday season. I’ve been there myself so I always take these calls to heart. I’m not currently on the dispatch floor; however, I had to pull one for court recently. It made me so sad to hear the person feeling so alone. He was straight but it didn’t matter. His pain was once my pain and it touched me to my core. *I’m feeling a bit long-winded today. Grab some caffeine!*

I’m sad to say it but many of these wounds are often self-inflicted. And I say that not as a judgement. Much of my pain from back in the day was my own doing. And while you’d never have known it to see me, holidays were absolute torture. And I inflicted it upon myself over and over again every year. I wouldn’t wish that sort of pain on my worst enemy. It is my hope that my sharing struggles and how I survived it will help others.

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When I put myself on my journey to discover myself, I developed a few axioms to live my life by. Psychologists often teach us to put reminders in our daily lives to overcome our personal conflicts. For me, it turned into blogging. My blog became my therapy. And thru it, I posted my new found axioms (at the time) in the ‘about’ section here for many years as a daily reminder to myself.

  • What you think of me is really none of my business.
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
  • Be the type of man you’d like to date.
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.

These are still a big part of my life. They are the foundation of much of my personal growth over the last 25 years. If you are feeling down, sad, worthless, or unloved, these apply to you. Dear soul, you are not alone. So many of us go thru it. Some of us overcome it, some of us avoid it by maintaining unhealthy relationships or setting standards so high no one can ever measure up, some of us deny it, and some of us just suffer thru it. Regardless of where you are, know that I understand 100%. I’ve been there.

It took many years of working on myself to overcome it. Here is my best advice to help you overcome it. But, and it is a very big but1 to overcome. You have to face yourself and be brutally honest. This simple step will stop everything if you can’t do it. If you can then:

What you think of my is none of my business. It takes a bit of time to wrap your head around this one. Many of our internalized insecurities we inflict upon ourselves. Primarily because of how we think others see us or how we think others want to see us. We twist ourselves into pretzels trying to avoid negative views or stereotypes. The reality is you have to let go of that. Modeling your image after what you think others want you to be will just make you miserable. And you’ll never live up to it because this idea is different from person to person. Or, you will mold yourself into an image so constrained by the view of others you will be even less happy. This is a dangerous path to go down. Instead, just let it go. Focus on what you think. Your opinions, ideas, and thoughts matter. You matter. Don’t worry if someone doesn’t like xyz-thing about you. Focus on making yourself happy. Focus on what you think and believe. This all might sound kind of trite but it will bring power to your struggle, and with power comes confidence!

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Happiness within is something only you have control over. If someone tries to put you down, shame you, or otherwise be negative, you have to agree or ‘let them’ make you feel a certain way. If you didn’t believe it yourself, it wouldn’t matter. When you reach a point where you are happy within, this one becomes much easier. You find other people’s projections onto you roll away. Stop focusing on what others think of you and focus on what YOU think of you.

I was fortunate enough to realize I wasn’t happy with myself in my late 20’s. I was even more fortunate to realize I didn’t hate myself so much as I didn’t love myself. I felt woefully inadequate and insecure. Childhood mental/physical traumas left me feeling utterly worthless and undeserving of love. This drove me to believe love was all I needed in my life to “fix” me. I desperately wanted to be loved so being loved would fix everything right? Wrong.  I could post several novels worth of text from my old written journal of me lamenting this.

And when things didn’t work out with someone, I always felt something was wrong with me. Anytime someone rebuffed or ignored my interest it was back to being unworthy in my mind. I stayed in unhealthy relationships out of fear of being alone. These were and are self-inflicted wounds. And they don’t just go away. They become set pathways in our brains. We have to fight to overcome and change them daily. Examine the moments that make you sad when engaging with others, be it in person, online, etc. Find you trigger and examine why you think that way and then work on changing it. It is a slow painful process. It will bring up even more self-loathing until you finally break the cycle.

Listen to my words. Stop focusing on what you need from someone else and start focusing on yourself. It took me years of continual effort changing small behaviors and examining my triggers to do it. Honestly, I didn’t even realize I had until well after the fact. It just sort of snuck up on me. And even then, some of my new found “adulting” made me an enabler for others. I had to then break thru that as well. It isn’t an easy process but it is beyond words worth it.

Be the man (or woman) you’d like to date. I know for many of us in the LGBT umbrella, loneliness and a sense of belonging are severely lacking.2  Ironically, it dawned on me once while a previous boyfriend who I’d remained friends with was at dinner with me ranting and railing about ‘where have all the good men have gone‘.  I finally got so annoyed I just blurted out, “why don’t you focus on being a good man first!”  He wasn’t amused to say the least. However, that moment was more of an epiphany for me than him. I felt many of the things he wined about. At least he was detoxing by getting it all out.

As part of the struggle to actually be a man you’d like to date, you will discover you become a better man. Until you let go of the idea that someone or something else is needed to ‘fix’ you, you will never over come this. You will continually get into codependent relationships that feed on your insecurities. I know from experience! I spent so many years torturing myself with ‘if onlys’. If only I could find a man to love me. If only I could be more masculine. If only I could be more attractive. If only, if only, if only, if only…  It never ends!

When you finally start living for you, not for what’s missing, you’ll find the better man is less of a focus and that yearning for a ‘fix’ will dissipate. You might still want a partner in crime and then again you might not. Either way, the idea will shift from being unhealthy and painful to a healthy pursuit of a life goal.

You might also be pleasantly surprised that more men will be into you. We are innately drawn to confidence in others, romantic or platonic. When you tackle this and overcome it, your natural confidence will increase and I guarantee you others will notice.

Treat others the way you like to be treated. This is routinely known as the golden rule. And it is. How you treat others should be more important to you than how others treat you. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to imply you should let people treat you poorly. However, when this becomes a mantra, you find it reinforces the first one above. You cannot control the actions of others. You can control YOUR actions. Being a better man doesn’t mean always being right. This is a painful lesson in the gay community. A big one for me revolved around the sexual conquest that is so much a part of being male. In our carnal or romantic pursuits, we tend to value others we see as less-attractive less. This lends to treating them poorly or as unworthy. This is one of many examples. I mention it because it touched me personally. Your struggle here might be different.

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These four little phrases drastically changed my life. I still strive to live by them. And I don’t always succeed. But like any goal, it is the struggle to get there that gives it meaning. You are struggling this year, reach out to those closest to you. Even if they don’t understand, they can listen. They can help YOU get it off your chest. Just the act of admitting it out loud can be therapeutic. It doesn’t have to be family, it can be a friend, a coworker, or an old booty call you connected with. If not, call a local hotline. A quick Google+ search will give you help. Don’t let it beat you. You are worthy.  If this once utterly broken soul can do it, so can you.

If you made it thru my rant, I wish you love, warmth and happiness.

And as always, hope springs eternal….




  1. hardy har-har. pun intended. []
  2. And let us not forget the folks who deliberately feel alienated by the stereotypical view of our community. This angst is also self-inflicted. []

Return Trip

Click on the image for the full album

I know, I’ve been horrible about keeping up lately. Forgive me. 🙂  First things first. The trip to Hawaii! OMG it was amazing. I totally didn’t know what to expect but it was nice and very relaxing. Our host, and my friend Rick, was so great and made the trip that much better by being such a great tour guide and a wealth of information. He really went all out helping us see and do anything we wanted. We stayed in his guest room but he also has a lovely AirBnB if anyone is going in the future. No seriously, it was gorgeous. And apparently, the biz is growing there so the rates were exceptional. I was shocked how cheap it was compared to the over-priced hotels. Anyway, I digress… We had a great view of the beach from our patio and it was so relaxing. The morning birds annoyed Shawn a little but I loved them.

I didn’t realize how big the main island was. It’s huge. Granted, I didn’t do much research but I always thought of Hawaii as being small and tiny. I remember Oahu being much smaller. I also didn’t know that it was mostly undeveloped. Oh there are a couple big cities with a few small towns scattered about but the big island as a whole really isn’t that developed. I couldn’t get over that part the whole time we were there. lolol  Rick made sure we got to see a lot of local culture and history and helped us find all the things we wanted to do.

As you can see from the album of pics, we got around!  We could have done and seen so much more but we didn’t want to spend the whole trip driving in a car all day. We had to cut some of the site-seeing short so we could squeeze everything in. We decided before we left we wanted to do a luau, see the volcano (and lava), and go snorkeling. Obviously, we wanted to spend some time at the beach as well. It was Shawn’s first time meeting Rick in person and they got along great. I also got to meet the famous Bubbles (Rick’s bulldog) as well as Freddie and Elvis, their other 2 dogs.

We did the luau first and it was ok. We had fun but would probably skip it in the future. It was a good, ‘yeah we did it‘ event. The next day saw us driving to see the different sites, and waterfalls. Rick was our guide again and took us to several great spots. We stopped at a local gay owned cafe in Hilo for lunch. All the driving really drove it home how big the island was. Rick made sure we stopped for malasades, a local pastry. We got lucky the day we visited the volcano as you could just barely see active lava in the pit. The whole experience was awesome and a tiny bit unnerving. The steam vents were probably the part that creeped us out. The idea of walking around on top of a volcano active enough to continuously spit out steam from the ground gives you a moment of pause. hehehe  The plant life all around the crater felt almost primordial. It was a serene and surreal environment. I loved it!  The lava tube was also eerie. You could see the lines cut into the rock from the flow of lava as it churned thru the tube at lord knows how much speed. Just being in a massive tunnel created by flowing molten rock was awe-inspiring. I think having been to the volcano itself before visiting tube helped a bit. I think the impact of what we were seeing was made ‘real’ by having just seen the vents and actual lava.

We saved the best for last. The last day before we flew out we went snorkeling. OMG what a great experience! I’ve only ever been snorkeling off the beaches of Galveston when I was a kid. It was no where near the experience of being in a coral reef.We even saw a whale on our way to the cove. It was literally in front of the boat and they had to stop. hehehe

I was a bit out of sorts at the very beginning. We got in the water and for whatever reason I couldn’t get my breathing sorted properly. It only took a few minutes to adjust but I remember feeling weird and a little irritated it might ruin my experience. After a few minutes of practicing, I got the hang of it again and I think the old muscle memory kicked it. Shawn was originally a bit nervous as he’d never been at all. However, he seemed to grasp it right away. His only trouble was getting used to the fins. We both opted for little float belts as the water was pretty deep around the boat. I hadn’t been actively swimming in ages and I was a wee bit concerned I’d get tired too soon. As it turns out, we probably could have skipped the float belts. The fins were fine. Shawn got the hand of his as well.

Swimming around the coral and seeing all the amazing fish was amazing. It was like being in a tank at the Aquarium. So much diversity and most of the fish ignored us. The tour group offered lunch on the boat and I opted to hop back in the water after lunch. Far fewer snorkelers meant more fish! There were a ton more fish casually swimming in/out of the coral the second time. I cruised around the whole cove. It was by far the highlight of the trip for me. I’d be doing it here if the water wasn’t so damn cold.1

We lounged on a beach for awhile after the snorkeling trip. I didn’t spend much time in the water as my eyes seemed to have trouble adjusting. I think I might be developing low tears or something. I simply could not keep my eyes from burning every time I got a tiny bit of salt water in them. It was never a problem for me when I was younger. Having had 2 eye surgeries might have impacted me as well. Regardless, it made playing in the water a struggle. The beaches are much more rocky on the big island and finding smooth sand is a hot ticket for beach goers. We drove out to a couple of remote beaches and even those were very busy. I still had fun relaxing in the sand. The funny part is we barely got any sun. We were both afraid of getting burned so we stayed covered in SPF spray.

That’s it in a nutshell. It was great to see my friend Rick and his family. We socialized and caught on on things. The dogs were a treat as well. Seeing Bubbles madem

 




  1. Ocean water this far north stays cold year round. []

Cards

It’s that time a year again. I’m starting to send out Christmas/Holiday cards. If you would like to be added to my card list, please email, text, or message me. Don’t leave your mailing addresses as a comment obviously. I got a few back last year so if you have moved you might want to let me know. A big thank you again to the anonymous person who bought me the Destiny game last year. That was very kind of you. I definitely have played it a lot. No really, a lot! Hehe So your gift went to good use.

I always try to send out non-religious cards as I don’t always know what each person celebrates, but if I send you a card that isn’t quite in line with your religious celebration, apologies in advance. I’ve never gotten a complaint but I do try to keep it simple. I’m not religious so I try to avoid overly religious cards anyway. I’m sure it’s the thought that counts but if you read me for any length of time, you know I’m not a hyper-PC type person anyway.

Sending cards is my favorite part of the holiday. If you’ve gotten a card from me before, you know it’s a bit of a tradition and I do it with a little flair. For my blog readers, I try to go over their comments/emails from the year while I’m doing their card. It always makes me feel more connected to them. I’m probably the only weirdo that does that but I find it enjoyable. It also seems to jump start my holiday spirit. Of course, I have to put on holiday music and eggnog1 is usually on hand as well.

I’d say it’s probably the only thing I really look forward to over the Xmas holiday. Some years I don’t even do a tree, I just dig out the non-tree decorations and setup up around the apt. I always put out all the cards though.  I put them up as soon as I receive them. It’s probably the only time of the year I go to the post office more than once every few weeks.

What odd tradition do you have?




  1. or just some good booze []

Resolute-toot

I’m not big on NY resolutions anymore as it seems a bit contrived and so few people really follow thru anyway. I do; however, try on an ongoing basis to improve myself.

Looking forward this year, I think one of my goals will be less time on social media. Sadly, social media isn’t about communication anymore. It is a plaform for an individual to spew their own bias and expect reinforced support via comments/likes. I spend way too much time trying to point out distinctions that matter.

Subjective validation is all the rage and it has become very apparent to me no one cares about facts or details. Issue dejour must be devoured, judged, and spewed forth with outrage and angst and then summarilty forgotten. Exeryone expects something be done while continuing on their own path of indifference. Successful discourse is discouraged and chastized. And integrity and honesty are just buzzwords to be bandied about like so much other tripe.

​I’d rather focus on my own life more and lead by example. It sound so negative but I don’t mean it that way. I just need to stop wasting time on things I can’t control. Of course part of me says I just follow the wrong people. Maybe I should be more selective about who I follow and let follow me? *thought bubbles..thought bubbles…thought bubbles….* *Pop* Naaaaaaaaah. LOL

​My only other new goal this year is to try to get out more. Shawn and I are very comfortable being home-bodies. I think we are a wee bit too comfortable now. lol It’s time to get out a bit more and be active. Beyond that, I’m focused on the normal things: lower debt, better health, eating better, etc.

Anyone else making big new years plans?

GHHD #3 2014

Well, it is that time again. Gay High Holy Day #3 of 2014 aka Folsom St Fair.

For most of you, time to dust off your leather and don your favorite pair of come-f**k me pumps. The weekend promises to be muggy and warm so be prepared for stickiness.1 If you’re visiting, be safe and don’t trash our lovely city. If you’re local, traffic is going to be a mess. 🙂 Either way, be smart and don’t drink and drive. PD will be on the look out. MUNI, BART, Uber, Lyft, etc to wherever you need to be.

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I’m having trouble getting into the spirit this year. I’m just not overly motivated. Nothing is wrong, I just can’t seem to find any excitement. Actually, besides my slightly wonky eye, things are awesome. You’d think being The Pup and I’s first year together with him living here, I’d be super excited. I feel a tad guilty as I’m probably dragging a little of his excitement down. I’m sure once we get out into the festivities I’ll perk up.

We got tickets to Real Bad this year. I haven’t been in a couple years so I’m sure it will be fun. The guys always do such a bang up job putting it together. The fact it is a charity certianly helps soften the blow that the tickets are $100 (after tax) a piece now. ​

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Feel free to ingore my "meh"-ness and enjoy the weekend! Be safe, have fun!




  1. Both kinds []

Selfies v2.0

[gallery  orderby=”rand” type=”slideshow” ids=”4955,4954,4953,4952,4951,4950,4949,4948,4947,4946,4945″]

So what is everyone doing today?1  I’m working but it’s been slow. Being on days makes even slower. *yawn*  Clearly, I wasn’t overly busy as I had time to run around posting selfies with my co-workers.

We had a big feed and I spent some time helping prep and setup. I’m usually on a later shift so being on the day side was slower than even I expected. lol Tonight will be busier but I’ll be gone by then. Anyway, hope your day was warm and fuzzy. The Pup and I are off to see a movie later and then probably Chinese delivery for dinner!




  1. Besides posting food pics to social media []

Happy Festi-Hanna-Kwana-solti-xmas

In other words, happy holidays, whatever you celebrate!  It’s always funny reading about the war on christmas. A holiday based on Christianity but all the
image

‘traditions’ were stolen from so-called pagan religions. And just because we realize we aren’t a one-religion country and try to show others the courtesy doesn’t make it a war on your particular made-up holiday. *yawn*

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Whatever floats your boat, I hope that you are having a good one. I don’t get all crazy over holidays. The Pup and I didn’t even put up a tree this year. I like to think I don’t need a holiday to appreciate the ones I love. I don’t wait for a special event to show someone I care. That being said, I can still appreciate the spirit of the holiday. We are exchanging gifts. We told each other nothing extravagant or expensive. We are doing one gift each. Even though, mine turned into two gifts. ‘Let me es’plain’. I originally ordered online to avoid all the drama with in-person shopping. Problem solved. That is until I got a notice saying “it was on back-order” and I had to brave the madness. It actually wasn’t as awful as I expected. Oh it was a mess but not the all out craziness. Anyway, I started out by just looking for a simple gift to get him over the holiday till his original gift arrived. Well after I bought the new gift, I found a better version of the item I ordered online. So that’s how I ended up with two gifts. Ironically, all the shopping got me a little more into the spirit. I totally almost blew off the rule about one gift.

I’m working this year, as usual. If it falls on my work day, I work it. Since I’m still doing the project at work, even though I go back to Ops on holidays, I’ll be on day shift. I’ll miss most of the evening drama that comes from families that, after lots of booze, realize why they only see each other once a year. hehehe

I hope that whatever you’re doing this year that you’re safe and warm. And if your holiday isn’t all perky and rosy, well the year is almost over. Hang in there a few more days.

And in those immortal words….’Be good to one another’

Cards 2.0

I mentioned a while back I was getting ready to do Xmas cards. I said I’d remind everyone again and here it is. hehe

If you want a card from little ole me make sure I have your mailing info, even if you think I have it. I’ll be doing my little ritual soon. Don’t post it publicly obioiusly. lol Email, text, or private msg me. hehe

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The Pup and I are both working on Christmas day, which is fine. I’m working Christmas day. I don’t mind as they pay me well for it. Another great thing about him, like me, he doesn’t get all worked into a frenzy over the idea of a holiday. We’ll do our own little moments of appreciation and celebration and that is the important part.

Thanks

Y’all know I’m not overly big on holidays. That said, I try to remember the spirit of the holidays vs falling prey to the commercial consumer engines they’ve become. I always try to be thankful but I am especially thankful this year for the wonderful things I have in my life.

I always cover the basics because not everyone is so fortunate to have even that. I’m happy to have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and enough job security to not worry for the immediate future. It may seem trivial but I am grateful for things so many of us take for granted.

Beyond that, I feel so incredibly fortunate at this moment in my life. I found the most wonderful man I could ever ask for. He makes me happy in ways I didn’t even know possible. I am so grateful we found each other and are building a life together. I’m grateful I can come home to him every day and wake up with him every morning. I feel so incredibly honored he chose me for his partner in life.

Of course, I can’t forget the ‘pooper.’  Cooper brings me so much joy and never fails to bring a smile to my face. To think I almost missed the opportunity to bring him into my life. He always gets a special treat on the holiday, of which he has already devoured. Hehe I’ve said it before but he will never know the joy he brings me.

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I hope all of you reading this are doing well and in good spirits. If your holiday isn’t as bright or as warm as you’d hope, don’t sweat it. It’ll be over tomorrow and life goes on. It’s one day.

The Pup and I are both working today and tomorrow. Neither of us is upset over that. He, like me, is very pragmatic. The only down side is we are working opposite shifts today so I won’t see him till late tonight. No worries, I’ll be there waiting with open arms for him. grrrr!

I try not to confuse being thankful for what I have with the fairy-tale projections that we are often bombarded with. Reality is rarely like the stories and I think it important to remember that subtle but important distinction. In my line of work, I see and hear the depression that grips so many this time of year. I believe it is made worse because we get caught up the idea of the perfect holiday vs just living a good life. And on the chance your are having a very bad holiday, let me extend a hand of friendship and a hug of warm feelings. Don’t let it get you down.

I wish you all the very best. As always, I love that you read my nonsense. *big hugs*

Cards

Ok. It’s getting to be that time again. You all know I don’t make a big production over Christmas but I do send out cards like crazy. I always hear comments that people miss my post asking for address updates so I’m starting earlier this year.

If you’d like a card, send me your mailing address by email, text, phone, or social media. Don’t post it here obviously. lol I’ll ask again before I send’em out but I figured I’d try to give everyone a heads up early this time.

I’ve given up trying to keep lists because every year I seem to misplace my list. I either get a new gadget or I simply can’t find the damn file. Arrrgh!

I got several cards back last year so even if you think I have your address, please update me.

On a side note, Cooper has decided to help me this year. You’ve been warned! hehehe